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Over 3000 Christians in freedom rally outside Parliament to oppose law that requires Christians to condone practices the Bible teaches are wrong

Printer-friendly version 11th January 2007

Summary

The police estimated that over 3000 Christians, as well as a small number from other faith groups, attended last night’s peaceful torch-lit rally outside Parliament (see link to photos, below).

The rally was a fantastic witness to Christ as hundreds of banners (primarily with the slogans ‘freedom of conscience’ and ‘freedom to believe’) were held aloft and worship songs were sung. The sound of the songs and prayers could be heard across the Parliament area.

Meanwhile, the motion to annul the Northern Ireland SORs was defeated in the House of Lords by 199 to 68: the sizeable majority had been anticipated as the Government whipped their Peers into opposing the motion, and the Lib Dems similarly required their Peers to support the Government line. The lack of freedom of conscience for Peers can perhaps be seen as symbolic…

Representatives from the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, Christian Concern for Our Nation and Coherent and Cohesive Voice appeared on television (Heaven and Earth Show (Sunday) and then on Tuesday BBC breakfast, lunchtime and evening news, Sky, Channel 5, CNN, and ITV) radio (BBC Radio 4, 5, London, Southern Counties, Manchester, Solent, TalkSport, Asian Radio, Devon, Wales, Scotland, Gaydar and Premier) and in newspapers (The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Evening Standard).


Overall, the opportunities in the media gave us the chance to put across the fundamental issue regarding the SORs –that whilst Christians opposed any unjustified discrimination against individuals on the grounds of their sexual orientation the regulations would have the effect of forcing Christians to act contrary to their conscience in certain circumstances. The Regulations set up a clash of freedoms. WHILE THE VOTE OVER THE NORTHERN IRELAND REGULATIONS WAS LOST, YESTERDAY WAS A BRILLIANT OCCASION FOR CHRISTIANS TO WITNESS TO POLITICANS AND OTHERS THROUGH THE RALLY AND MEDIA COVERAGE, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, TO HONOUR GOD BY STANDING UP PUBLICLY FOR THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL.


However, the battle is not over yet and we must wait and see how matters unfold in the coming weeks.

A HIGH COURT CHALLENGE BY THE CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE TO THE NORTHERN IRELAND REGULATIONS MEANS THERE IS A FURTHER CHANCE TO OUTLINE CHRISTIAN CONCERNS ON THIS ISSUE.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE ENGLAND, WALES AND SCOTLAND SORs ARE STILL BEING FORMULATED BY THE GOVERNMENT. Please write/contact your MPs and ask them to press the Government to publish the Regulations in good time to be fully considered by the public and parliament.


THERE IS STILL A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY FOR CHRISTIANS TO STAND UP FOR FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE. There will be more to do. Please be ready to act in the coming weeks as we send out more information.

LINKS

Further Details

Please continue to follow the updates we send out on this issue. There is much still to be done.

Please continue to sign up to the petition (see link, above) to the Queen, which now become of relevance in relation to the England, Wales and Scotland SORs. We already have over 10,000 signatures on this Petition.

Please also continue to press local MPs to seek that the Government allows a full and open debate on the England, Wales and Scotland Regulations.

Above all, please continue to pray about this issue. In particular, pray that the media coverage and heightened awareness of these matters would glorify God and that the truth would not be obscured by the way in which the reporting is sometimes phrased. Please pray also that there is an understanding in the gay community that Christians are in no way ‘anti-gay’ but that we earnestly desire homosexuals and heterosexuals alike to repent of their sin and turn to Jesus.

This is a fundamental issue about being free to teach and live out the Gospel. We pray we would honour God in all that we do.

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